Renjuplayers in the world - 29. Ando Meritee

0.Your name, your nationality, your age, male or female.

Ando Meritee, 25 years old, male.

1.When did you start to play renju and how did you learn it? How many years have you played renju?

I started to play renju in 1988, so it makes almost 12 years of playing. I first saw this game in Tallinn Youth Centre while I was participating in checkers competition as a member of my school team. The main organiser of that competition, Arvi Reinap, explained me the basic rules of renju game and as he saw my interest towards this game, so he invited me to come and join the renju classes/tournaments every Saturday in the same Youth Centre. So, since February 13, 1988, I have been playing this game regularly until today. 

A year later, in 1989, i decided to quit the chess classes which I had been participating 3 years by that time. The reason was that I had to choose between renju and chess - it is impossible to dedicate deeply to more than one game. So, i made my choice then - renju!

2.Do you play in a club? In which clubs have you played?

When I was younger, I played regularly in Tallinn Youth Centre, you may call it renju club as well. But when I became 19 years old, the tight working schedule didn't let me to join the renju meetings too often. Of course I remained a regular renju player no matter the busy work.

Since November 18, 1999, I am a renju teacher in Taipei Renju Club. I will also teach other renju players in other cities of Chinese Taipei. This is a good opportunity for me to dedicate to renju more deeply than ever.

3.Which are your best results in national and international tournaments (Usual tournaments and e-mail tournaments). Which is your international rating for the moment?

There are two kind of best results. One is the good place in the tournament, another thing is being satisfied with my performance in tournament. I have many good places in several tournaments, but I also make critisizm to my own games in the tournament when I am not satisfied with them. I try to learn from my game mistakes.

Statistically, the best results in renju are:

1988 I remember the day I got 9 kuy, I was so happy and proud of it!! :-)
1989 Volga tournament in Nizhny Novgorod, 7th place.
1990 Team USSR Championship, 1st place in Baltic-1 team.
1991 Moscow Open., 1st place.
1993 World Championship, 1st place.
1994 Team European Championship, 1st place in International team.
1995 World Championship, 2nd place.
1996 Team World Championship, Estonian team was 2nd place.
1996 European Championship, 1st place.
1997 World Championship, 2nd place.
1998 European Championship, 1st place.
1998 International Renju Tournament in 5win server, 1st place.
1999 World Championship, 1st place.
1999 Match Meritee-Nakamura, 3.5 : 2.5.

I dont know what is my rating after the last match with Mr Nakamura.

4.Which is the best player you have met?

No doubt about it - Shigeru Nakamura is so much stronger than any other player!! 
He is a genius!

5.Can you explain why you enjoy renju?

I enjoy this game in many reasons. One reason is that renju has given me the whole new world - great friends, interesting renju meetings and tournaments!

Another reason is the renju game itself. This game is so special for me. It is hard to put into words what I feel about this game. One thing is sure - I will play and love this game as long as I live!

6.Which is your plans for the future as a player?

My present plan is to teach renju in Chinese Taipei. I will also write some renju books in English while I am in Taipei. As a player - I will do my best to have a chance to go to Estonia in May 2000 to be a member of Estonian team in Team World Championship.

8.Have you anything else interesting to tell that you think that I should have asked for?

The question about what is my most special experience about renju.

The answer is: When I was in Kyoto in November 1999, I visited old players renju club where all players were at least 70 years old. I played many games with them, especially with one 90 years old lady. She was VERY good player despite her age. I really admire their happy faces and how they enjoy renju and life even in that high age. That meeting in the club is really a very special memory for me always. It gives me faith and confidence to play renju as long as I live! :-)

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